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  • 8/21/2019 Anderson Sakra in Early Buddhist Art


    McMaster University

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    Open Access Dissertations and Theses Open Dissertations and Theses


    Sakra in Early Buddhist ArtLeona Anderson

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    Recommended CitationAnderson, Leona, "Sakra in Early Buddhist Art" (1978). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 5624.[email protected]:[email protected]://
  • 8/21/2019 Anderson Sakra in Early Buddhist Art


    'Sl lG'l\ N Ei>ll LY BUDDHIST ART

  • 8/21/2019 Anderson Sakra in Early Buddhist Art


    Sakra in Early Budd.hist Art

    ByLeona Anderson, B Ed. B.A.

    A Thesi.sSubmitted to the School of Graduate Studiesin Part ial Fulfillment of the Requirements

    for the DegreeMaster of Arts

    McMaster University

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    M STER OF ARTS 1978)Religious StudiesTITLE Sakra in Early Buddhist ArtAUTHOR Leona Anderson, B.Ed. B.A. Calgary)SUPERVISOR Dr. Phyllis GranoffNUM ER OF PAGES vii i 129

    McMaster UniversityHamilton, Ontario

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    ,-The fo11ol,in[;; ti1esi s tr.:lces the development of IncrajSal:rain Buddhist iconography in India up to the third century A.D. Thehange in repres(mtations of Indra/Sal:ra p a : I ; : ~ 1 1 e 1 s la rger e\ ol-

    ution of popular Buddhism i t se l f from a religious system, in which thefigure of the his torical Buddha was predominant, into a devotionalcult centered on the figures of both the his torical Buddha and numerous

    h o d c h i s a t ~ v a s The study thus highlights one aspect of th is shift inemphasis from cZlrly H I n a Y ~ r i a Buddhism to l,Iahayana Buddhism. Art formsin conjunction with relevant t e x ~ s provide the context in which Indraappears in early Buddhist art (around the f i r s t century B.C.E. andhis subsequent development in Hahayana ar t (early Gandrllara and NathuriD.

    The f i r s t chapter reviews the character of rndra In non-Buddhistc o n t e ~ ~ t s : the Vedic and Epic t radit ions . E ~ v i d e n c e from these periods

    ....provides the context out of i ~ h i c h the Buddhist Sakra emerged. The Vedic,.Inera developed into the Epic Indra from ~ l h i c h the Buddhist S a t ~ r a seensto have evolved.

    At the early Buddhist si tes of Sanchi and Bharhut Satcra er.Jergesas a devotee of the Buddha. e appears in iconogra?hy and relevanttexts , in a narrative context as one of several characters in the J; takata les . e is ident i f iable ei ther by his iconographic form (a royalfigure ~ l h o sometimes ~ e a r s a cylindrical crown specific to him and

    ~ l h o carries a va jra and/or ja r of a:w::ta), or by vir tue of the context

    U s

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    in ~ h i h he appears.- - ~il.t Gandhara and l: athura ~ a 1 . ~ r a becomes a f igure of greater coro-plexi ty ~ v h o is often removed from any narrat ive context . S a l ~ r a andBrahr.ia at tend the Buddha in prototypical rlapresentat ions of the Buddhistt r iad (tbe Budcha and tHO bocldhisat tvas). This t r iad s ignals an impor-

    t an t development iR the ar t and theology of Buddhism. I t i s ' indicat iveof the' c:evelopment of the 1tlorship of the Buddha as the m lin object ofdevotion accompanied by Sal,ra and Bral:una in ear ly Buddhism and byboc cihisattvas in the l a t e r t rad i t ion . I t i s the emergence of theGe l a t -te r f igures in th i s role ~ ~ h i c h represents the most s igni f icant changein popular Buddhism in India which V1ClS to be t ransmitted to the FarEast . The Buddha has become a t ranshis tor ica l f igure 'l-lorshipped in -dependent of a narrat ive c o n t e ~ ; t Hi.s at tendants though they s t i l ladore the Buddha are l i f t ed from a nar ra t ive context a t ta in ing thes ta tus of Buddhist dei t ies .

    n addi t ion S a ~ : r a is intir.1ately r e la ted to the va j ra -bea re r vlhoemerges a t G a n d h ~ r a Tbe context in ~ 1 h i c h th i s l a t t e r f igure appears,his function, and his primary a t t r i bute, the va j ra indica te the natureof th i s relat ionshi;p. This iconographic form may be proto typica l of thel a t e r boddhisattva Vajrapani and cer ta in ly is tbe bas is of the Nio ~ . h oappear as f i e rce guardian f igures in iconography in Japan and China.

    These t ~ J O deve:lopr:1ents r e f l ec t the emergence of Nahayana Buddhismand are indica t ive of the di rec t ions t l i l l t a ~ : e as t grOlvs and devel -opes in India ~ ; h e r e t arose and outside of Inelia, in China and Japan .

    i i b

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    PageLIST OF ILLUSTRAT]ONS . . . . . . . . . . . iv

    ABBRE\TL1T IO}JS v i i

    A C I r n O l r J L E D G E ~ T S v i i i

    mTRODU T 0 G ,. 1



    cmr LUSION ................................. .................................... . ................................. 86


    FOOTIr 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . 112.

    BIBLIOGR A PtIY ...... II 01 I I 125

    i i i

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    Figure Page1. Indra a t Bhaja (Ervin Baktay, Die Kunst Indiens ,

    @udapest:. Terra-Verlag, 1963; pI. 67). 92. Vessantara Ja taka , s a . . ~ c h i (John Harshall and Alfred

    Foucher, The Nonuments a t Sanchi, 2 vols. (Delhi:94LO 2: p l 29c) 97

    3. B h i ~ a J ~ t a k a , Bharhut (Ananda Coomaraswamy, LaS ~ u l p t u r e de Bharhut, Annales du Husee Guimet,vol. 6 {paris: Vanoest, 1956J pl . XLV 176). .98

    4. The vis i t of Sakra,_ Bharhut (Coomaraswamy, .Bharhut, pl. XXIV 63). . 985. .The vis i t of Sakra, -Sahchi. (Harshall and Fo:ucher,sanchI, 2: 3 5 b l ~ 986. Descent a t S r u L ~ i ~ a Bh;rhut Coomaraswamy,

    Bharhut, pl XI,31). . . . 997. Descent a t S a i i . k i ~ a t Sartchi (Marshall .and Foucher,s ~ c h i , 2: pl.34c) . . . . . 998. Detalokas, Sanchi ( Ibid. pl . 49a). 9. Heads of Indra t Gandhara (Inghol t , Gandharan Artin Pakistan New York: Pantheon Books, 1957 ,

    pls 331,332). . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 10010. Dipankara J;:taka, Gandhro-a S , ~ Gaulier , R. Jera-

    Bezard, and Ivl Maillard, ~ h i s m in Afghanistanand Central Asia, 2 vols. Leiden: E.J. Br i l l ,1976 , 2: f ig ,22). . . 100

    11. Birth of the Bodhisat tva, Gandhara (Asch,dn Lippe,The Freer Indian Sculptures, Orienta l Studies ,No. 8 \t ashington: Smithsonian In s t i t u t e , 197Ql,f ig . 8). 101

    12. Bir th of the Bodhisat tva, Gandhara (Lippe, f ig . 9). 101


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    vFigure Pa.ge13.



    Bath of the Bodhisattva, Gandhara (Madeleine Hallada, ~The G a n d h a r ~ Style [tondon: Thames and Hudson, 1968J,p l 87) 102

    Bath of the B0dhisattva, Gandhara (Hans Ackermann,Narrative Stone Reliefs from Gandhara in the Victoriaand Albert Museums ii-J. London, vol. XVII Wome: rsNeo,1975], p l Vii, bJ. o 02.

    The vis i t of "Sakra, Gandhara, (Albert Griinwede1, BuddhistArt in India, trans. A ~ C . Gibson, second ed. ~ o n d o n :Sis i l Gupta,1965], pl . 94), 1q

    16. The visi t of "S'aYJa, Gandhara (Ingho1t, p l 128). 10317. The visi t of Sakra, Gandhara (Ingho1t, pI 129) 104

    1 8 ~ The Buddha and V a j r a p ~ i Gandhara (Ingholt, p l v 3) . 1(419. Departure of the Bodhisattva, Gandhara (Ackermann,pl . l 1;l),. ' ..... I 11 ........ 10520. First Meeting with Brahman, Gandhara (GC'Jl.dharanSculptures from Pakistan, Introduction by B. Rowland

    ~ e w York: The Asia Society Inc. , 1960) p 4). u 10521. Offering of Grass, Gandhara (Rowland, Gandharan

    Sculptures, p 24). o 8 o # lo622. Buddha s Firs t Sermon, Gandhara (Lippe, p l ~ 11;.). 10623.. Buddha preaches to god in Trayastrimeia heaven,Gandhara (Ingho1t, p l 104). 10724. Parinirvana, Gandhara (Ackermann, pl. XLI), 10725. Parinirvana, Gandhara (Lippe, pI 16). 10826. Buddha and female worshippers, Gandhara (Ingholt,

    p l 189) . c827. The Story of the Niligir i Elephant, Gandhara(Ackermann, pl. XXIX a), 10928. Descent a t Sanklsa Gandhara (Ackermann, pl. G13). 109

    BUddha flanked y Sakra and Brahma, GandharaIngholt, p l 243). 110

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    v i

    Figure Page30. Reliquary of Kanishka, Gandhara Ingholt, pl 494 11031. Bimaran Relic Casket, Gandhara Ingho1t, pl. 1). 11132. Preaching Buddha on Lotus Throne, Gandhfu-a Ingho1tpl 253}

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    NG nguttara NikayaBe BuddhacaritaV HarivathsaV alitavistara

    HBh MahabharataMV MahavastuR Rimay